Usually weekends are times of joy and fun for the Southeast Pee Wee football team, the Benning Terrace Soldiers. But this was a much different Saturday.
Players and coaches woke up to a destroyed team office. Their jerseys were gone. Their helmets, training equipment, trophies and even the ovens used to make cookies for fundraisers were covered in spray paint.
“They pushed the Plexiglas here, stuck their hand in, turned the knob and opened the door,” Soldiers coach Curtis “Peedy” Monroe said. “It really hurts. Especially when you’re doing something positive. And you see this, this is like a brick dropped on you or something.”
Outside, a literal brick was dropped on the team van, busting the windshield. The tires were slashed, and again spray paint covered the outside of the van.
Players are worried that the attack will mean that some of them won’t be able to play.
“My uncle and the other coaches work hard to get the jerseys, and now they’re gone,” said Soldiers player Delonte Hunter. “Children are probably going to feel messed up about it because they have to buy another jersey or they might not be able to play.”
D.C. police are investigating and looking to see if the attack stemmed from any disputes involving former players or the 14 current coaches. They are also reviewing video from a local surveillance camera.
Police say either way, the attack it ultimately depriving the kids of something they loved.
“Someone’s obviously a little ticked off,” D.C. Police Commander Robert Contee said. “But this is just unnecessary and uncalled for, and unfortunately it impacts the kids in the community.”
Team officials said they are working on establishing a fund for people to donate to. They hope to have it set up Monday.